Russia flies needed coronavirus aid to the United States


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A somewhat buried article on the Russia Today (RT) English-language site, and more prominently shown on the Russian site, notes that Russia sent a plane full of needed helpful supplies and equipment to help the United States combat the coronavirus pandemic and help its people. On the morning of March 31st, the USA has over 164,000 cases – twice as many confirmed cases of the virus as China presently is reporting.

From the English-language piece (with slight corrections for language):

US President Donald Trump […] praised Moscow for sending a ‘very large planeload of things’ to help fight the spread of the coronavirus and treat sickened patients, noting that China and other nations had also chipped in.

“We’ve had great relationships with a lot of countries,” the president told reporters at his daily Covid-19 briefing on Monday, adding: “China sent us some stuff, which was terrific. Russia sent us a very, very large planeload of things, medical equipment, which was very nice.”

Trump did not specify what kind of aid Moscow or Beijing had provided, however, and failed to name any of the “other countries” that had also sent supplies.

The comment was somewhat puzzling, given that Russian officials have yet to announce any such aid shipment to the US, and a State Department email recently sent to American diplomats stationed in Europe in search of supplies – obtained by Foreign Policy magazine last week – explicitly ruled out Russia, stressing that the request applied to countries hosting US embassies “minus Moscow.”

Aid plane from RussiaRussia military cargo plane, perhaps the one that carried supplies to fight coronavirus to the US. courtesy

The president’s off-hand remark about the aid did, however, follow a call with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, in which the two discussed their mutual concern over the fast-spreading virus. Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov had also previously signaled that his country was “ready to help the United States” if needed.

Moscow last week sent more than 100 medical experts and nearly a dozen aircraft loaded with equipment to Italy – including ventilators, disinfecting supplies, as well as face masks and other protective gear – to combat the country’s own outbreak, among the most severe in Europe. Though Italian media reports had slammed the aid as “useless” and mused that it came with malicious and hidden intentions, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio insisted the assistance was a pure “act of solidarity.”

Russia thus far has been spared the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, with present reporting placing the number of confirmed cases in the country at 1,836. Moscow and its surrounding region have by far the greatest concentration of cases (1,345 combined) and the capital city is under a strict lockdown for at least this week in an effort to halt or slow the spread of the disease.

With the United States looking to be set to have a simply massive caseload of this disease, the resources of the country’s government have been aligned in a massive cooperative alliance with the main manufacturers in the US, who are now retooling their factories to produce needs for dealing with the pandemic. In three weeks the number of cases in the US has simply exploded, and the eventual slowing of this rise in cases has not been indicated yet.

Russia’s generosity is well appreciated in reality, even though the American media appear to be conveniently ignoring this bit of news.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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